UPDATED 6:40 AM PT — Thursday, September 12, 2019
Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a tentative settlement with around half of U.S. states on lawsuits surrounding its alleged involvement in the nations opioid epidemic.
The settlement was reached Wednesday and says the company will pay up to $12 billion over time. Additionally, it’s owners — the Sackler family — will relinquish control of the company. The Sackler’s would then start a trust meant to combat the opioid epidemic.
Some people in Ohio, however, say the agreement leaves much to be desired. Significantly hit by the opioid epidemic, residents are doubtful the settlement will have any effect on the growing crisis.
“It’s a slap on the wrist..it’s not going to stop, it’s not gonna stop until somebody makes them stop. I mean this, it’s nothing.” — Christine Fry, Ohio resident
The settlement comes as Purdue’s federal trail date draws closer. The lawsuits alleges the Connecticut-based company falsely advertised Oxycontin as a non-addictive painkiller without disclosing any possibly dangerous side effects. The downplayed addiction risks further intensified the already existing prescription drug epidemic.
According to reports, the epidemic has taken around 200,000 lives in the past two decades. Many are calling for Purdue to take responsibility for their alleged role in furthering the crisis.
Despite the tentative settlement, around half the states suing Purdue promised to continue their legal battle against the pharmaceutical company.